Category Archives: Religious Education Updates

2019-2020 Religious Education Program

Many Paths, One Community

Next year’s religious education program will be an exploration of the world religions and how Unitarian Universalism relates to the myriad of religions and philosophies that we draw upon. We will be focusing on five main world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Humanism, and Earth-Based Traditions (Paganism, Native American traditions, etc).

Lower Elementary – More than one way to answer a question: The youngest children will focus on the different ways that religions of the world answer the questions of how to live our lives and behave toward one another.

Upper Elementary – Stories of what is sacred: Older children will explore the core stories told by different religions and the basic beliefs of each religion.

Teens and adults – Sharing a community that has different beliefs: Teens (and adults) will learn about each of these religions and reach out to religious communities to learn more about each other.

The curricula we will be drawing on will include:

  • Moral Tales (Tapestry of Faith)
  • Love will Guide Us (Tapestry of Faith)
  • Sacred Stories & Picture Book – World Religions
  • Crossing Paths (Middle school and up)
Some of the possible communities we will reach out to:
  • Temple Bethel (Jewish)
  • Islamic Center of Midland
  • Christian churches (teen choice)
  • Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways
* For Buddhism and Hinduism, we may have to reach outside of our area.

Lifespan Religious Education Team Meeting

Thursday, May 9 8:00pm in UL301 

The Lifespan Religious Education Team meets monthly to support and develop the religious education program at the Fellowship.  If you are interested in helping on the team or just interested in knowing more about what we do, feel free to attend our meeting and see what it is all about! Contact Heather Cleland-Host, dreheather@uufom.org for more information ahead of the meeting, especially if you are interested in joining the team.

Children & Youth Religious Education Program Update

Spring Block, Changing the World (Sundays, April 14 – May 12)

In the fall, the Religious Education Program focused on who we are as a UU community.  Who is our community? Who are we as a congregation? In January, we began exploring how this community helps us shape our identities, values and beliefs – and how to live them out.  We are closing our UUnique Journeys with a Spring Block dedicated to the ways we can live our values and change the world.

Junior and Senior Children’s Circles: The Strength of Community to Make a Better World
Age 4-grade 2  in UL303 and grades 3-5  in UL302.

Secondary Lodestone Program: Community Outreach – Making a Better World
Grades 6-10 in LL103.

Lifespan Religious Education Team Meeting

April 11, 7:30pm in UL301 

The Lifespan Religious Education Team meets monthly to support and develop the religious education program at the Fellowship.  If you are interested in helping on the team or just interested in knowing more about what we do, feel free to attend our meeting and see what it is all about! Contact Heather Cleland-Host, dreheather@uufom.org for more information ahead of the meeting, especially if you are interested in joining the team.

Upcoming Religious Education Events

UUFoM Parents’ Circle Meeting
February 10 at 12:00pm in UL302

Light lunch & childcare provided

The Parents’ Circle is made up of families with children through 12th grade, gathering together for discussions, activities, potlucks, and more.  We also have a private Facebook group for safe sharing. Elspeth Hetrick has been managing the Facebook group and leading us on adventures.

We will be holding monthly meetings again on second Sundays.  We are starting with meeting after the service during the winter months for discussion and munchies.  Discussion topics will be chosen by parents attending.  Some possible topics: “How is our parenting impacted by our religious journey?”  “How do we equip our kids to deal with religious bullying?”  Come join us for great company and conversation!

Lifespan Religious Education Team Meeting
February 7 at 7:00pm in UL302
The Lifespan Religious Education Team meets monthly to support and develop the religious education program at the Fellowship.  If you are interested in helping on the team or just interested in knowing more about what we do, feel free to attend our meeting and see what it is all about! (Contact Heather Cleland-Host, Director of Religious Education for more information ahead of the meeting, especially if you are interested in joining the team).

Winter Break Sundays – Call for Volunteers!

The Lifespan Religious Education Team is looking for volunteers to lead activities for children on December 23 and December 30.  Craft and activities will be provided and all children will be in the same room for fun activities after story time in the service.  Nursery care will also be provided. Contact Heather Cleland-Host if you will be here over the holidays and are available to help.

Youth Group Fundraiser: Saving Amazon Rain Forest

Bake sale and fun activities

December 16 after the service

The youth group invites you to celebrate after the winter pageant service.  The youth will be bringing food and activities for during the coffee hour, and they invite congregants to also bring holiday treats to share and take home.  Bring plates of snowflake cookies or elvish brownies or perhaps holiday bread.  (Plates should be disposable and covered with plastic as they will go home with others.  Ziplock bags of cookies or brownies also work).  The youth will be collecting donations toward helping protect the animals and ecosystem of the Amazon Rainforest.

Youth Winter Pageant Rehearsals Begin!

Calling all children and volunteers! Time to sign up!

The Youth Group has chosen to tell the story of “A Single Shard” by Linda Sue Park for this year’s winter pageant.  “A Single Shard” is the story of a boy who wants to be a potter and who goes on a journey to deliver the vases of the master potter he serves to the king in order to win a royal commission to make vases for the king.  Children, youth, and volunteers are invited to sign up with Heather Cleland-Host,  DREHeather@uufom.org.   The schedule for rehearsals and the service are as follows:

December 2     Holiday Stations (during Sunday Religious Education)                                  Pageant Rehearsal 12:00pm – 2:00pm
December 9     Pageant Rehearsal (during service)
Pageant Rehearsal 12:00pm – 2:00pm
December 16   PAGEANT DAY!  9:00am arrival

December Parents’ Circle: Third Annual Parents’ Holiday Break

Saturday, December 1
12:00 – 4:00 pm
Free Lunch & Childcare
Calling all parents and caregivers! We are once again holding a parents’ break on the first Saturday in December!  Come, get refreshed in preparation for the holidays (and maybe get some early shopping done)!  From 12:00 to 1:00pm, parents (and caregivers) will enjoy a catered adult lunch together at the Fellowship (while kids eat separately)!  Afterwards, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm, you will have the option of free childcare on-site while you go shopping or go on siesta with your partner or a friend or maybe see a movie!  Three hours will be entirely yours!

Childcare will be provided at the Fellowship and will include lunch and games.  We will have at least two adults supervising and plenty of teens assisting in making this as fun for the kids as for their parents.  Please sign up ASAP with Heather Cleland-Host or at the Fellowship, so we know how many providers to have on-site.

 

RE-Flections: Just Another Annual Meeting?

This past Sunday, I attended yet another Annual Meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland.  Leading up to the meeting, I had many new members ask me what happens at an Annual Meeting.  I told them about how we select our Board members, vote for the Budget, and receive reports from our teams and volunteers.  We vote on By-Law changes.  The Annual Meeting is an important part of running the Fellowship, but it is mostly business.  Or is it?

On Sunday, I was reminded that our Annual Meetings are anything but “just business.” Sure – some years have been quick and concise.  We’ve gone in, heard the reports voted in the budget and officers and gone on our way, but more often, the Annual Meeting is where we gather and FEEL how we are as a community.  We celebrate the Unsung heroes amongst us, and we share things we struggle with as a community.  Each Annual Meeting has its own tenor and personality.  This year, I was reminded that always it is sacred space.

The meeting ran long and yet our chair, Sara Clavez, kept us on the task at hand.  She never wavered in moving us through the agenda, and yet she made certain each voice was heard.  As the voices were heard, a story unfolded.  It was a story of a community that values each other for all that we are.  Our number one community value is not just the democratic process – though we honored it.  It is not that we all agree on everything or that we all have to follow the same identical path – though we agreed on a way to unite together behind a cause.

Our number one community value that I saw celebrated on Sunday was and is our sacred commitment to each other.  We deeply value and cherish this community and one another.

Yours in UU,

Heather Cleland-Host